This just in…


Wubby is still not in the house. Wubby’s stuff is.

Meanwhile, in other news….

Baby Girl had a group project to do in English. (Don’t get me started on group projects.) As part of the project, they had to create a Power Point slideshow, at school, on the school’s computers and saved to a folder on the school’s network. Notice that all of the technology is owned by the school. No home computers were harmed in this process.

They finished their work last week, saved their stuff, and waited for their turn to present. Monday was their turn, only there was a slight problem: the Power Point file would not open. No way, no how. The teacher could offer only the following: “You’ll need to figure out why your file won’t open.” Baby Girl came home Monday quite distraught.

“We don’t know what’s wrong. It opened last week, we worked on it, saved it where we were supposed to. We did everything right, but the file won’t open.”

I asked her a couple of questions, like “was it saved as a .ppt or a .pps?” and “Did you maybe save it in a previous Power Point format?” She had no idea.

So, Tuesday morning I sent an email to her English teacher:

Baby Girl has expressed a great deal of concern about her group’s PowerPoint slideshow for their project. According to BG, she and her group members worked on the file and finished it last week. She also says that it has been saved in the correct folder, but will not open now. If this is indeed the case, then one of the group members needs some technical assistance in order to ascertain the problem. If there is no one at NDHS with the expertise to help, then please allow her to call me. I have a technical computer background, and may be able to help her over the phone.

Thank you so much.

If you’re an aficionado of TNT’s series, “The Closer”, then you will understand exactly what “Thank you so much.” means. If not, refer to any previous discussion regarding the hidden meaning behind the Southern idiom “Bless your heart.”

I got a response from English teacher at the beginning of third period, Baby’s class:

I had one of the students from the group just stop by my room.  I tried to pull the power point up on my laptop, but it didn’t work.  I sent Allyson, another member of the group, to the library to see if it could be converted.  The librarian couldn’t get it to convert.  However, Allyson created another slideshow last night and has it pulled up on my laptop now.  They should be able to present today without any problems.

Hope this information is helpful.

Hmmm, she doesn’t have a clue about what is wrong. Converted? From what to what, exactly? But, her closing remark indicates that she also knows how to say “Bless your heart” without using those exact words. I don’t find this answer to be satisfactory:

That’s great! 

I do think the students should be able to find out what happened to the original file, just in case it was something they inadvertently caused. However, Baby Girl’s description of the problem sounded more like there was some kind of file corruption. I know she is going to be gun shy at working with PowerPoint at school. She takes everything VERY seriously, and was practically in tears yesterday afternoon over this.

Was there a particular error message displayed when you tried to open the file?

I waited. She replied, some time later:

The librarian told Allyson it had something to do with the antivirus software…maybe they downloaded a picture the software didn’t like.  They also did not save it in the correct folder.  It was supposed to be saved in my teacher folder labeled 3rd period, but I found it in the “general” teacher folder.  I don’t really think this was the problem, though.

This still doesn’t help anyone, and poor Allyson had to reproduce the group’s work, at home, so they could finish their project. I have a problem with that, too. Not able to leave well-enough alone:

Thanks for keeping me in the loop re: the folder issue. The problem does still seem to be a bit vague, with the potential of reoccurring without the students’ knowing about any problems until they tried to open the file for presentation. If the anti-virus software detected a problem, it would be logical for the software to issue an error when the file was saved, which could have happened and been missed by the students.

 I’ll work with Baby Girl on file location techniques in Windows programs.

 Thanks again.

We discussed all this when BG got home from school. Yes, they presented Allyson’s reproduced file. BG also told me exactly where they went to locate the misbehaving file, and her description matched where the teacher said the file should have been. BG could quote EXACTLY where they went to try and open their original file, and she’s not a computer geek like her mother.

The end result: no one knows what happened, and no one at school really cares enough to figure it out, which means that the students have gone through this annoying exercise without learning anything worthwhile about how to avoid this type of problem in the future.

So: my daughter, without really trying, has learned everything she needs to know about how to work as a help desk technician.

Every silver lining has its cloud, I suppose.


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